As the technology around broadband connectivity continues to grow, so do the benefits of getting connected. Here are some examples of how broadband connectivity can benefit your home or business:
- Broadband enables local communities, regions and nations to develop, attract, retain and expand job-creating businesses and institutions. It also improves the productivity and profitability of large, small and home-based businesses and allows them to compete in local, national and global markets.
- Broadband assists government agencies in improving quality, lowering the cost and increasing transparency by making it easier for citizens to interact with them online and improving internal operations.
- Broadband networks enhance educational experiences by providing students and teachers with access to an array of resources including text-based materials, photos, videos, music, animations, interactive lessons and oral history collections. It also opens the walls of classrooms, allowing students to participate in distance learning opportunities anytime from any location they can access the Internet, such as a library, school or home.
- Broadband makes remote access to clinical services possible for patients and provides significantly improved, cost-effective access to quality healthcare. It also allows physicians to monitor their patients through innovative home-health devices, which avoids expensive house calls and provides patients with real-time feedback.
- Broadband, particularly wireless broadband, is becoming increasingly indispensable to the interoperability of police, fire, health and other government entities that protect the public from both day-to-day and crisis situations. This includes systems to support rapid responses to disasters, effective early warning and public alert systems, disaster preparation programs, remote security monitoring and backup systems for public safety communications networks.
- Broadband enables buildings to communicate with utilities, utilities to communicate with each other and the energy market to provide real-time information to both buildings and homes. This includes smart buildings and smart grids, which hold great promise for dramatic reductions and greater efficiencies in energy consumption.
- Broadband allows teleworkers the opportunity to more readily live and work in locations of their choosing, without having to be within commuting distance of a corporate center or another base location. Studies show that commuters drive 53% to 77% less on days they telecommute than on days when they drive into work and a three-day-a-week telecommuter could save an average of $5,878 per year in commuting costs and would avoid putting 9,060 pounds of pollutants into the environment.
- Broadband can play a significant role in revitalizing a previously blighted urban community. Fully wired communities in these reinvigorated neighborhoods can provide citizens with the opportunity to take classes at community centers in career and skill development, allow for more effective public safety and contribute to greater economic growth, entrepreneurship and increased job creation.
- Broadband allows senior citizens to gain access to services in their homes, such as home-based rehabilitation and health monitoring devices, rather than in an institutional setting. It also allows seniors to live anywhere they choose and still stay connected with their families and friends, participate in online educational classes or start new careers or projects after retirement.
- Broadband allows young people and adults to actively participate in all aspects of a global society. Research shows that most young people obtain their news from online sources as well as use the Internet to participate in social networking. Broadband also results in less out-migration of youth and adults in rural areas. Connectivity allows young people and adults to remain in their hometowns through the establishment of small or home-based businesses or by working remotely for larger companies or organizations.
- Broadband is an important tool in addressing the needs of disabled individuals. Through various broadband-based applications and supporting technologies, deaf and hearing impaired individuals can communicate with one another through sign language using webcams and blind and visually impaired people can use “screen reader” programs that audibly describe website material to users. Software programs now exist to interpret screen content into Braille. Broadband also permits users of Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) to use Video Relay Services (VRS) to communicate more readily with voice telephone users.
- Broadband is essential to enjoy 21st century entertainment. Streaming video, connecting with friends and relatives via social media, and online gaming are only possible because of Broadband.